The Longines Master GMT Gold Is an Old Fashioned Heirloom in the Making

If any single timepiece could bring back the tradition of receiving a gold watch upon one’s retirement, it might just be the brand new Longines Master Collection GMT, limited editions in gold.

A gold watch used to mean something. Throughout the mid-20th century, companies used to bestow gold watches upon their most valued, senior employees to mark their retirement. It was a sentimental gesture that, as the century wore on, became less appreciated and as employees began shifting from company to company more frequently, the practice died out altogether. But with the release of Longines latest edition to the Master Collection, the “Winged Hourglass” may just have the heritage, clout and class, to bring the prestige back to gold dress watch.

The Master Collection GMTs feature frosted silver dials, with applied golden Roman Numerals and square date window at 6 o’clock. A 24 hour Arabic numeral scale encircles the dial upon the matching rehaut. The gold hour, minute and second hands are complemented by a thin, minimalist black GMT hand which extends just to meet the hashes of the railroad minute track. Presented in yellow or rose gold with exhibition case backs, and will be produced in just 500 pieces in each color.

Within the 40mm case beats the Longines Calibre L.844.5 automatic movement – an ETA A31.L01 derived flyer GMT which is produced exclusively for Longines. It’s a dependable workhorse movement with a 72 hour power reserve, enhanced by the presence of a silicon balance spring for greater magnetic resistance. This is all to say, it’s the kind of movement that will be an easy, no fuss companion.

 

Longines Master Collection GMT, and indeed the entire Master Collection series,  have classic proportions and classic aesthetics – no quirky or ostentatious design details or gimmicky features. They are the embodiment of elegance for the sake of elegance. Nowadays, it feels as though every other watch manufacture seems to be clamoring to find new ways to re-invent the sport watch wheel – forcing their brand into a conversation about materials innovation or some high octane lifestyle fantasy. It may sound like the musings of some superannuated watch writer, but it’s refreshing to a timepiece which is just elegant for sake of being elegant.

It’s an aesthetic that reminds us that Longines is a watch brand which possess as much (if not more) history, heritage, and prestige as any great Swiss watch brand. Also, lest we forget, these watches are solid 18k gold – no mucking about with gold cap or plating. As a result they elevate Longines’ offerings to a new price category for their Men’s collection. At just shy of $15,000, these are proper, capital ‘L’ luxury watches with a price tag to match. While the vast majority of Longines’ timepieces exist in a much more accessible price category, the release of the Master Collection GMT feels like a bit of a sea change, and a welcome one at that.

 

Despite the ubiquitous popularity of stainless steel, and along with it other white metals in haute horology, yellow gold still has its place. While still regarded as anachronistic by some, more and more people across younger generations are beginning to acknowledge the sophistication and prestige of yellow gold, embracing what the metal once meant. The yellow gold wrist watch harkens back to a time milestones were marked with grandeur,  and companies would express their gratefulness with the gift a gold watch to a retiring employees, 30 or 40 years of their loyalty and dedication now represented on the wrist.

The Longines Master Collection GMT, with its reserved aesthetics, reasonable yet modern proportions, and classical yet functional complication, feels like something a little bit rare – it feels old fashioned. It feels old fashioned in a way that, well, watches should. That is to say, special, like the kind of watch someone will one day inherit and treasure.

Movement: Calibre L844.5 Automatic winding movement with 72 hour power reserve

Functions: Hour with quick set, Minutes, Seconds, GMT hand, Date

Case: 40mm 18k Yellow (L2.844.6.71.2) or Rose (L2.844.8.71.2) Gold, screw down crown, sapphire crystal caseback

Dial: Frosted Silver Dial with gold applied Roman Numerals, 24 hour rehaut, gold handset with black GMT hand, date wheel at 6 o’clock

Straps:Anthracite-grey alligator leather with “soft touch” finish, tongue buckle in 18 ct yellow gold or 18 ct rose gold

Price: USD 14,750

 

Learn more about the Longines Master GMT Gold Limited Edition here

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